Solicitor Complaints 'Swamp' Lafayette

Police Chief Eric Christensen: 'The vans arrive and dump these people on the street. We are citing them as fast as people are calling.'

Lafayette is popular. Just ask Police Chief Eric Christensen.

"We are getting swamped with solicitors from out of state," wrote Christensen in an email Friday. "The vans arrive and dump these people onto the street. We are citing them as fast as people are calling."

One recent dropoff came from Illinois, and police located a parole violator who had just gotten out of prison. Officers gave the parolee a ticket. A city ordinance requires solicitors to register with the police department, Christensen said.

Christensen encouraged citizens to report solicitors. Call (925) 283-3680 or email the tip line at 94549Tip@so.cccounty.us

Bailey Lee February 11, 2013 at 05:04 PM
These guys are more than pests. Many of them are runaways and some, as shown here, are, parolees---felons most likely since misdemeanors rarely go to state prison. All are desperate. None are your local high school or college kids. The danger to the homeowner is significant. The first visit may even seem harmless, but it could be a reconnaissance for a return burglary. Be careful and don't bother trying to be polite. If you have an intimidating dog, show it. BTW, the ticket issued is laughable. Think it's gona be paid?
Dive Turn Work February 11, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Who cares if the ticket gets paid. The point is to have a law so that the police can come in and harass these pests until they leave.
Bailey Lee February 11, 2013 at 05:22 PM
You missed the point entirely. Issuing a ticket is no deterrent, as you surmised. "Harass these pests until they leave?" Great! How? Hug them to death?
carrera February 11, 2013 at 05:30 PM
The first offense is a citation. The second offense is a misdemeanor.
Bailey Lee February 11, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Thanks. Good to know. But is it an arrestable misdemeanor and under what conditions, assuming these guys even give up a valid ID in the first place or the same ID the subsequent times?
Dive Turn Work February 11, 2013 at 05:42 PM
The deterrent is having a law that allows police to harass them.
Dive Turn Work February 11, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Of course, I've also never had a solicitor arrive at my door. This is why God made security gates.
Bailey Lee February 11, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Lucky you ;>) My first line of defense is a scary looking doggie. Usually works.
Thomas Wiggins February 11, 2013 at 06:26 PM
One of them was working my street, and accosted me when I was about to leave in my driveway, I told him no and advised him that it was illegal to solicit in our city and asked him if he had bothered to read the sign as he entered this private road, He just rambled on with his hustle speech. I left to go run some errands and my wife informed me that the police had stopped him ( 3 cars) and were questioning him, I was trying to find the telephone number to report him, but apparently several of our neighbors had already done so. When I returned home about 40 minutes later I saw him sitting on the sidewalk surrounded by Police AGAIN on the next street over. They don't seem to get deterred at all by the citations, perhaps they should be detained at Police Headquarters and make the Van Driver come and Pay the citations and pick them up, now that might actually deter them.
lovelafayette February 11, 2013 at 07:33 PM
How about the ones selling strawberries/cherries/oranges that undoubedly "fell off the back of a truck!" This new crowd of creepy canvasers dedicated to burgularizing unoccupied homes makes the holy rollers, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses who offer you doorstep salvation look almost appealing. They were at least trying to save me, not rob me!
Peter Kendall February 11, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Both of our gates now have "No Soliciting- No Exceptions" signs, as of Saturday. I just hope it doesn't deter the local scout troops from knocking!
Stevie Coyle February 11, 2013 at 10:35 PM
What is this new group of solicitors selling?
Dan Perkins February 12, 2013 at 01:32 AM
This made me chuckle because at first I thought this referred to um ladies of the night which would be quite a story but then in England a solicitor is a lawyer, so again another funny image of Lafayette swarming in lawyers (not that it isn't) and then finally I figured out what these guys were doing. Good times.
Dive Turn Work February 12, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Speaking of which can the people selling religion be cited?
Bailey Lee February 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Prob depends on whether they're asking for donations or your soul. That would be a yes and a no, I think


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